After living and teaching for 10 months in the U.S., TCLP exchange teachers came together again for one final time in Washington DC at the Spring Leadership Workshop. This last workshop prior to their departures back to their home communities provides TCLP participants with an opportunity to reflect on their experiences as exchange teachers in the U.S. and further prepare them for their return home. After their transformative time working in a U.S. school, they look forward to returning to their home schools enthusiastic about implementing the new skills they learned. During their time in their host communities, they have developed their leadership skills and now they stand prepared to return to their home schools in China, Egypt, and Morocco as educational leaders. The Spring Leadership Workshop is intended to encourage them to start thinking about how to link their past experiences in the U.S. with their bright futures back home.
This year, the Spring Leadership Workshop in Washington took place May 3-5 and provided the cohort with an opportunity to attend several sessions encouraging them to reflect upon everything they have learned in the past 10 months and prepare for their next steps as program alumni. The teachers attended sessions on anticipating and surmounting reverse culture shock, alumni programing through the U.S. Department of State, global competence, and educational leadership. TCLP teachers intend to apply instructional methods they adopted in the U.S. to their classrooms, provide professional training to colleagues, and establish connections between their home schools and their U.S. host schools. During the workshop, the teachers also discussed how their understanding of America has evolved over the course of the year and how they can share their first-hand experiences with their colleagues, students, and communities in China, Egypt, and Morocco.
The Spring Leadership Workshop ended with a closing ceremony, during which exchange teachers met with Anthony Koliha, Director of the Office of Global Educational Programs from the U.S. Department of State, to share their achievements from the past year. This year’s TCLP teachers collectively taught nearly 4,000 students and reached an additional 22,300 students, teachers, parents, and community members by conducting close to 2,500 hours of outreach. Through these outreach activities, exchange teachers served as cultural ambassadors to their U.S. host communities in feeder schools, universities, senior centers, libraries, and community organizations. The 11th cohort set program records in terms of numbers of students and community members impacted and outreach hours performed and there’s little doubt that they will continue achieving great things once they return to their home countries.